His death was announced on his foundation’s website. Though it does not list the cause of death, Simon was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in November 2012 and was told months later that it was terminal. TMZ reports that, at the time of his passing, Simon was surrounded by his family and his dog. It’s fitting that Simon would be joined by his dog since he was such a passionate animal rights advocate.
Though we are huge fans of Simon’s contribution to the wildly successful and popular sitcom, “The Simpsons,” Ecorazzi will remember Simon most for the good deeds he’s committed on behalf of animals worldwide.
A vegan since 2005 (and a vegetarian since he was 19), Simon’s philanthropic work included buying a fur farm to save chinchillas, saving an injured race horse and traveling to Taiji to raise awareness about dolphin slaughter. He was such a grand force in the animal rights world that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) named its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters the Sam Simon Center in 2013.
Just type in his name in our site, and you will find a slew of awesome and inspiring stories that demonstrates Simon’s passion and dedication to animal welfare.
We had the honor of talking with Simon last year in a fascinating conversation spanning two phone calls, which covered everything from veganism to being responsible for The Simpsons adopting a greyhound from a greyhound race. In the interview, Simon was optimistic about the future for the animal rights movement.
“Everything’s moving along very nicely,” he said. “Some issues—like orcas in captivity—a lot of interest was suddenly sparked. And then there’s veganism. You hear about it every day. So, I think overall it’s a good time. I think there will be big changes coming. There are victories every week.”
He told the Hollywood Reporter last September that animal activism was part of his healing. In the article, Simon brought his friends (including Pamela Anderson) to the 720-acre Wild Animal Sanctuary to visit the 17 bears he rescued from a concrete roadside attraction in Georgia.
“The liberations of the roadside zoos and circuses. This I don’t see as philanthropy at all,” he told the magazine. “This is part of my therapy. I’m pacing my life looking forward to these things, and I enjoy them. I enjoy bringing my friends. The arguments against doing them, which you can see on every bulletin board every time I do something like that, I understand completely. It’s not a cost-effective way of doing anything except making me happy for an afternoon. I like to live my life with these goals ahead of me. But it also has to do with alleviating suffering.”
And we’re pretty sure that, despite his horrific illness, Simon was referring more to the well-being of the animals than of himself.
He will be missed.